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The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > GeoMAPP Project Charts a Digital Preservation Course

November 18, 2008 -- Kentucky is the home of thoroughbred racing, but the partners in the Geospatial Multistate Archive and Preservation Partnership are not prepared to gamble with the future of geospatial information. GeoMAPP partners gathered in historic Frankfort, KY, from October 21-24 to identifying strategies and solutions for the preservation of geospatial information at the state and local level.

The GeoMAPP partners, representatives from the archives and geospatial divisions of the states of Kentucky, North Carolina and Utah, spent productive days at both the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and at Kentucky State University, receiving partner updates, finalizing the overall project workplan, and exploring ideas for interstate content transfer.

The business case subcommittee presented working drafts related to the preservation of digital geospatial data. Future drafts will be distributed for community review in early 2009. These documents are among the first to formally justify the need for preservation of state and local geospatial data, and will provide guidance to others facing this challenge.

The partners have also been considering how best to engage the software industry on the issues facing the geospatial preservation community. As Glen McAninch, the Technology Analysis and Support Branch Manager for Public Records at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives noted, states are using geospatial information to document official activities, including changes over time. It is important for geospatial software designers to understand and accommodate the archival preservation use case.

To that end, GeoMAPP identified a pair of use cases to assist industry in learning about geospatial preservation. The Utah "Archiving the Advanced Penalty Project" (external link) looked at revisions to the Enhanced Drug Penalty Zone Law during the 2006 legislative session; while the North Carolina Sustainable Sandhills testbed (external link) leveraged a grant from the Environment Protection Agency to engage the eastern North Carolina region's planning, development and conservation communities in the design of a Geographic Information System-based land use decision support tool.

The partners also received valuable external input from Terry Moore, the Associate Director of the Center for Information Technology Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who spoke about the NDIIPP-supported content transfer project FACIT (external link); and Doug Robinson, the Executive Director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, who discussed the current issues facing state CIOs and IT departments, including their top ten policy and technology priorities for 2009 (external link) (PDF), one of which is digital preservation.